I approach relationship counseling from the standpoint of building a more collaborative relationship, where each partner is an equal stakeholder in the relationship, co-sharing both power and responsibility, and co-authoring their futures together.
Strengthening a relationship by becoming a better listener and a more effective communicator is the single greatest investment partners can make in their relationship. Marriage counseling is often sought during fights, disputes and issues partners have trouble resolving together. Many times this is because there is a mentality of who is right and who is wrong, a mentality driven by the legal system (divorce litigation) whose purpose is to assign blame. The problem with this paradigm is that winning is not a connection, and losers don’t feel like equal partners.
- Initial Assessment (3.0 hours). Each partner is interviewed separately for 45 minutes, after which the couple is interviewed together for 45 minutes. The final 45-minute segment is used for brief intervention, observations, and recommendations on how to proceed.
- Jungian Typology (2.5 hours). The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, based on Carl Jung’s Psychological Types (1923), creates a new lens through which the partners can look at themselves and each other differently with regard to their unique strengths and dispositions toward the world.
- Miller Core Communication (1.5 hours). An interactive dynamic communication system teaches the couple to deconstruct communication in a way that strengthens individual boundaries by teaching how to listen effectively and how to say what is meant.
- Follow-up Sessions (75-90 minutes). Couples may elect to schedule follow-up sessions at any interval after the initial assessment and both before/after introduction of Jungian typology or Core Communication. A coaching model is preferred with couple’s counseling than a therapy model.
- Referral Should either partner have a contributing mental health issue that stymies the couple’s growth, I make referrals to other mental health professionals for concurrent individual psychotherapy.
- Conjoint Couple Psychotherapy (60-90 minutes). One or both partners may have a mental health issue for which they are undergoing treatment, wherein a helpful therapeutic modality may be to initiate conjoint couple therapy to be able to support the primary patient with the mental health issue as well as the caregiver. Other reasons might be in order to collaborate more effectively with the treatment strategy, or to address underlying relationship dynamics which might thwart or hinder successful treatment outcome. Conjoint Couple Psychotherapy is not marriage counseling. As such, third-party health insurance plans often reimburse this treatment modality coded as Family Therapy, while many do not reimburse services rendered for marriage counseling, as marriage counseling is not considered to be medically necessary.